Jaguar goes after ‘value’ as path to success in 2016

Jaguar will be advertising warranty in 2016.

Jaguar will be advertising warranty in 2016.

“Value” isn’t the term one usually associates with luxury car buying, but according to a study by J.D. Power, price is the biggest obstacle most people have to entering the luxury car market. So to increase sales—which is just about every carmaker’s goal—Jaguar’s plans lower prices, increase content, bring a new model to market and improve the ownership experience with a better customer service dubbed EliteCare.

The most apparent change will be in be the addition of new models, the F-Pace compact luxury SUV and a new second-generation of the Jaguar XF, though Jaguar will also change the price and what-you-get-for-the-money of other models.

The compact Jaguar XE sedan will gain a diesel engine for the U.S.—something we’ve not seen on this side of the Atlantic but common in the U.K. The new Jaguar XE 20d diesel will be the mid-priced XE, starting at $36,400. The gas-fueled XE 25t, at $34,900, is the entry level Jag and is well position to compete against the Audi A4 and BMW 3-Series. The $41,700 Jaguar 35t, powered by a 3.5-liter turbocharged V-6,will carry the XE’s banner in performance car comparisons.

Jaguar’s flagship XJ sedan goes after value per dollar by adding standard features worth up to $7,000, including ventilated front and rear seats, upgraded Meridian 825-watt sound system, full LED and adaptive headlights with auto high beams, and the Jaguar InControl Touch Pro system. The entry XJL 3.0 Portfolio starts at $83,200, including with even further added standard features, including quilted soft grain leather, massage front seats, and traffic sign recognition. Jaguar notes that a comparably equipped BMW 740 Li would cost $85,800. A Mercedes-Benz would check in at $94,000. You do the math.

The Jaguar XF sedan is completely new for 2016. The second generation XF is an all-new design, with aluminum-intensive construction saving more than 250 pounds. The new XF shares Jaguars new design language, with a large rectangular grille and a low sweeping roofline. Inside there’s something called “riva-hoop” styling, which is a trim line that encircles the interior. We’ll now more when we see it. The XF will initially be powered by one of two supercharged V-6s, one making 340 horsepower and the other a new 380-hp version called the XF S model. The 340-horse XF will be priced at $51,900, less than a grand under the 2015 four-cylinder XF, and $5,275 lower than the 2015 340-horse XF.

The new 380-hp XF S model—with additional features beyond the more powerful engine, starts at $62,700. Jaguar will add more models to the XF line, including a diesel, with a base price under $50,000.

The Jaguar F-Type will add standard equipment, including the top-spec 770-watt Meridian surround audio system, keyless entry and a panoramic roof on coupe models. All-wheel drive is available beginning with the 2016 model year.

Jaguar confesses to a quality perceptions that lagging reality, and to show confidence in its product as well as take the worry out of owning a Jaguar—the I’d-like-to-but syndrome, Jaguar will introduce Jaguar EliteCare coverage offers:

• 5-Year/60,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty (Jaguar claims best in class)
• 5-Year/60,000 mile complimentary scheduled maintenance (longest in class)
• 5-Year/60,000 Mile 24/7 roadside assistance
• 5-Year/Unlimited Mile Jaguar InControl Remote & Protect

In addition to the warranties and complimentary service periods shorter than Jaguars, some luxury carmakers have dropped complimentary service altogether. We could name names, Audi.

And then there’s the F-Pace, Jaguar’s compact sport utility. It will be introduced at the Frankfurt auto show in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.